The top 3 job seeker priorities right now

The top 3 job seeker priorities right now

Recent data from CareerBuilder showcases the most important priorities for employees and job seekers in the current market. With more than half of working adults in the U.S. content in their roles, the data speaks volumes about the factors keeping them put. What's more, the top priorities for professionals in the market continue to include flexible work arrangements and better benefits. And if you think a high salary is the number-one priority, think again.

According to data from CareerBuilder, salary comes second behind work-life balance, better health coverage, and greater flexibility. Find out more about the top three job seeker priorities, along with tips for improving your hiring strategy.

Competitive compensation packages

Data shows that 34% of employed individuals are happy with their health benefits. In addition, 81% of professionals look for employers that support mental health, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Beyond retirement packages and health, dental, vision, and life insurance, CareerBuilder data shows employed individuals also prioritize:

  • Mental health and wellness benefits (24%)
  • Pet insurance coverage (13%)
  • New baby and fertility benefits (10%)

As professionals continue to prioritize comprehensive packages, companies will need to reassess how they support employees. Providing employee benefits that support mental health and wellness and family needs will give you a better chance of attracting and retaining top talent.

Remote and flexible working arrangements 

After health insurance, the option for a flexible schedule is a top job seeker priority, with 21% of employees surveyed stating they prefer working remotely. This means that candidates looking for open roles are much more likely to apply to remote positions. If remote working arrangements aren't an option, consider adjusting to hybrid schedules to support both your employees' needs and the organization's goals.

Flexible work hours and remote work were gaining popularity pre-pandemic and show no signs of declining anytime soon. Shorter workweeks are also a high priority when it comes to flexibility, with 30% of professionals looking for a four-day workweek. Even with a shift back to the office, remote work and flexible schedules remain top job seeker priorities.

If you think a high salary is the number-one priority, think again. According to data from CareerBuilder, salary is behind work-life balance, better health coverage, and greater flexibility.

Upskilling and advancement opportunities

More professionals are investing in their skills and continuing education to find new jobs or advance in their current organizations. This means that there's top talent on the market able to fulfill specialized job roles, including individuals who actively prioritize opportunities to continue advancing. While unemployment remains relatively high and somewhat uncertain, employers are in a tight race for the most qualified candidates. Millions of high-performing workers who were laid off are now even more qualified through continuing education and additional training.

This trend will only continue, whether someone is looking to switch industries or take the next step in their career path. The best solution to attracting the right candidate for your team is to consider the skills someone brings to the table and how your organization can support opportunities for continuing education and training. A job title and industry experience can give you an idea of a person's background and how they learned these skills, but they aren't foolproof indicators of what a worker can do.

Tips for meeting job seekers' needs

With these top job seeker priorities in mind, it's imperative to open up a conversation about meeting these demands. Consider improving scheduling, building on benefits packages, and providing more opportunities for employees to develop and grow in their careers. Let's explore how you can stay competitive and meet the needs of candidates who apply for your open roles.

Assess the benefits

Reassess your current benefits packages to determine if they're holding up in the competitive market. With more job seekers prioritizing health and wellness, you'll want to look at what your current plans can offer. For many businesses, upgrading to higher tiers of coverage isn't an option due to the costs. However, if your organization can adjust to better general coverage or take on the costs of adding to what you currently offer, doing so can be worth it to attract and retain highly qualified candidates.

Adjust the schedule

If there's room to adjust, consider offering all-remote or hybrid options for current employees and potential hires. For work that just can't be done remotely, evaluate what a four-day workweek would look like for your team. Then, if it's feasible, start making the transition and letting candidates know in your job descriptions that your organization offers flexible work arrangements.

Provide opportunities to learn

More job seekers are prioritizing advancement and continuing education in their careers. Companies can keep up with this demand by providing additional ways for employees to upskill and advance in their roles. Adjust your hiring approaches by providing ways for employees to complete certifications, training, or professional development opportunities.

These job seeker priorities offer valuable insights into improving your hiring strategies and adjusting for the increasing focus on work-life balance. With CareerBuilder, you can tailor your job offers to showcase what your organization does to support employees so you attract the best candidates for your open roles.

More tips and hiring resources

Hiring for a remote role? Consider these 11 benefits to offer remote workers.

Find out what candidates really want in a flexible work culture and adjust accordingly.

Explore the top trends in HR to better understand how to hire effectively.

Stay up to date on the current state of the hiring market for insights into improving your recruitment efforts.

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